Proposed Flinders Ranges nuclear site identified as pastoral property belonging to former Liberal senator Grant Chapman via ABC

A former South Australian senator and Liberal Party president who jointly owns one of several proposed sites for a nuclear dump in the state said he would be willing to allow high-level waste to be stored on the property in the future.

Grant Chapman owns the long-term lease to Wallerberdina, a station near Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges about 40 kilometres north-west of Hawker, which is currently used to graze cattle.

It is one of six sites across the nation, including three in SA, being considered by the Federal Government to store low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste.

News of its potential future use has alarmed some neighbours, who are opposed to a nuclear dump and said they had not been consulted.


Neighbour angered and concerned by location

Artist Regina McKenzie, who lives on neighbouring Yappala Station, which shares a boundary with Wallerberdina, said she and her family were angry and frustrated they had not been consulted.

Ms McKenzie said she had heard rumours Wallerberdina was being considered but was shocked when that was confirmed by the Federal Government.

She said Aboriginal people have suffered greatly as a result of the Maralinga nuclear tests and she feared history would repeat itself.

“The water here that we use, the aquifers that are under the earth, what if they get contaminated by some leakages or something?” she said.

“I don’t care how safe they say it is. If it’s so safe, why don’t they take it back and put it in their own back yards. If it’s so safe, have it in Canberra there where all the pollies sit.”

Ms McKenzie said the area was culturally significant to the Adnyamathanha people.

“We don’t want [waste] in the area. We didn’t want them to take it out of the ground in the first place, it’s against our culture, and now they’re sending it back to the country,” she said.

“It’s not right. If they take it, they should keep it. It’s poison. We don’t want the poison back.


Mr Chapman said the property ws isolated and its geology made it suitable for safe storage.

He said consultation with locals would begin soon, and said a waste site would create much needed jobs in the wake of Alinta’s decision to close its mine and power stations.

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